Edited by Richard Meyers [Hell] and David Giannini
Complete run of punk legend Richard Hell's little mag, produced during his early years in NYC under his given name, before he assumed his more famous alter-ego.
"Hell's punk posture was informed to some extent by his literary imagination and immersion in avant-garde traditions (particularly those associated with French symboism, surrealism, and his own contemporary New York scene)." — Daniel Kane
While Hell has expressed some embarrassment at this early endeavor, it nonetheless links punk to its often under-appreciated literary roots. Its eclectic roster of contributors include: Thomas Merton, Claus Oldenberg, Albert Goldbarth, Richard Eberhart, Clark Coolidge, Bruce Andrews, Andrei Codrescu, as well as Hell's own pseudonymous Ernie Stomach (an early excursion into the use of a persona). As Hell himself, shortly after ceasing publication and just before re-creating himself as "Richard Hell," wrote: "To me 'Genesis : Grasp' is like the archetypal, back-turned, weepy, self-defeating, poor but noble little literary magazine. Who cares? Publishing a mag like that is like writing off the world. It's like committing suicide. It says oh I'm beautiful but it's no use, goodbye goodbye! It's not tough enough. I don't know...it aint all that bad — but it's nothing compared to what can be done." Two issues (#1 and 3) humorously inscribed on New Year's Eve 1979 by editor David Giannini ("Ugh"; "I disown this!"). Uncommon thus, and scarce as a complete run.
Read more: Daniel Kane, "Richard Hell, Genesis : Grasp, and the Blank Generation".
New York: (1968-1971). 8.5" x 5.5" each. Original pictorial wraps. Five issues: Volume One, Number One through Volume Two, No. One/Two, the complete run. Two issues inscribed by editor Giannini. Mild toning, foxing, and shelfwear. Else clean and sound.
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